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23 February 2007 @ 08:00 am
New vid: "Living Dead Girl" - Faith study - BtVS/AtS  
Vid Title: Living Dead Girl
Fandom: BtVS/AtS - Action-heavy Faith study
Artist/Song: Rob Zombie/Charlie Clouser - Living Dead Girl (Subliminal Seduction Mix)
Duration: 4:25 (xvid, wmv)
Summary: Only one sure way to bring the giant down
Warnings: Violence and intense imagery; Spoilers for a wide range of things Faith-related (direct or otherwise) for both series, including episodes in which she does not appear.

Download the M4V

Not the most original idea, I know, but sometimes you just have to scratch the itch. And this one's been itching for a long, long time.

The first time I ever felt the urge to do a music video was when the AtS S1 episode "Five By Five" rolled into the scene that's set to this song. That was years and years before I knew what "vidding" was. But that scene is a big reason why I (eventually) got into vidding.

In sourcing, I went through each episode of BtVS - from Welcome To The Hellmouth to Chosen - scene by scene, looking at it all from the perspective of Faith and her arc. What I found was that Buffy's arc was filled with parallels to Faith's... in many ways they're the same character. I really feel like I could have made the same vid - more or less shot for shot - but as a Buffy vid instead (pulled from different eps, obviously). But I made a conscious effort to show very little of Buffy here, otherwise the lines between the characters become too muddled and it's no longer a Faith study.

Mental note: Faith's the brunette.

For the presentation, I had the same general goal as I did with my Spike vid, Bullet With Butterfly Wings: make the vid feel as much like the character as I can while keeping an emphasis on a mechanical kind of musicality.

A lot of the inspiration for the look came from the song (more on that below), which led me toward a horror-movie analogy that I tried to sort of meld with the character's personality. I created a few overlays by layering detail shots and keyframing them over a scene. Also used music-cued time toggle, reversed footage, out-of-sequence frames, and tv "static" to try to create a disjointed, fractured feel. I wanted it to sort of lurch forward in fits and starts.

For the opening, I grabbed Buffy and Faith lines that I thought cut to the heart of what I wanted to say about the character, then layered them on top of one another in a separate sound file. The objective was to create a feeling of building tension while staying on point with the narrative.

Decided pretty early on to use as many secondary sources as I wanted/needed in order to create the proper mood. Ended up using a handful of non-fandom sources, mostly for detail shots. The most prominent are probably the three club clips from "Soul Survivors." I also used text/title screens from Zombie's original music video for the song.

Zombie's song is a tribute to low-budget horror movies. The bizarre-sounding lyrics are actually just a string of references to cult favs. Without that context, it sounds a bit like word soup.

For instance, the line "Goldfoot's machine creates another fiend/so beautiful it'll make you kill" is a reference to the 1960s Vincent Price "Dr. Goldfoot" flicks about a mad scientist who builds a gang of alluring female robots to do his bidding.

Also, Zombie's original opening for the song is from the trailer for the film "Lady Frankenstein."

The more research I did about the song, the more I felt like it connected with Faith's story and what I was trying to say. I guess that fact says as much about the nature of the character as anything. So the song became a real focal point for the visual identity and the narrative.


Living Dead Girl - Rob Zombie

what are you thinking about?
same thing you are

rage in the cage and piss upon the stage
there's only one sure way to bring the giant down

defunct the strings of cemetery things
with a one flat foot on a devil's wing

crawl on me
sink into me
die for me
living dead girl

raping the geek and hustling the freak
like a hunchback juice on a sentimental noose

operation filth they love to love the wealth
of an SS whore making scary sounds

crawl on me
sink into me
die for me
living dead girl

cyclone jack, hallucinating hack
thinks a donna reed eats dollar bills

goldfoot's machine creates another fiend
so beautiful it'll make you kill

crawl on me
sink into me
die for me
living dead girl

blood on her skin
dripping with sin
do it again
living dead girl

Hope you enjoy the vid. Please share your thoughts.
Tags: ,
Zohar: whee jumpbunnythenavia on February 23rd, 2007 02:47 pm (UTC)
Brad, this is so incredibly terrific! Slayer insightful on many levels. I, this is, wow. Your hard work was worth it.

bradcpu: slayerbradcpu on February 23rd, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
Yay! I can't tell you how happy I am to see your reply. I was sitting here very nervous waiting for the first comment. So glad you enjoyed it!
frogfarm on February 23rd, 2007 02:57 pm (UTC)
When it comes to vids period, Buffyverse ones in particular, and Faith especially... you, sir, are among the top of the heap.

(And in the funny coincidence part, just the other day I was listening to The Supremes' theme song to "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine)
bradcpubradcpu on February 23rd, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. I'm really just glad you enjoyed this one. It's my favorite character (of course) so I really wanted to get it right.

The Supremes did the theme song? Huh. I'll have to look it up on iTunes. I've never actually seen the movie.
(no subject) - frogfarm on February 23rd, 2007 08:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
thedothatgirl: faith enemiesthedothatgirl on February 23rd, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
I am d/loading but have family visiting so I want to watch it in a dark room in total isolation so it'll be tomorrow.

Must admit your notes have me all exicted....
bradcpubradcpu on February 23rd, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)
Hope it doesn't disappoint, Andrea. I'm excited because now I actually get to watch your Spike vid! Along with about a dozen others I've downloaded and set aside in the past month or two.
(no subject) - thedothatgirl on March 2nd, 2007 09:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bradcpu on March 3rd, 2007 02:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thedothatgirl on March 3rd, 2007 09:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bradcpu on March 4th, 2007 03:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
Michael: edseriesthepadre on February 23rd, 2007 04:11 pm (UTC)
Well, that just kicked 378 different kinds of ass!

Woo! Hoo! Yea! Awesome!

Well worth the wait!
bradcpubradcpu on February 23rd, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC)
You really think so? Thanks! I really didn't want to let down Faith or Faith fans (including me), so that's a relief to read.

Love the icon, btw.
(no subject) - thepadre on February 25th, 2007 12:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
bradcpubradcpu on February 23rd, 2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
Got it - next time I'll tone down the awesome. :)

Seriously, thanks. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.
messyjessie58: olivemessyjessie58 on February 23rd, 2007 06:32 pm (UTC)
holy shit!!! that was fucking awesome!!!

oh dear, the awesomeness is overtaking me!
bradcpubradcpu on February 23rd, 2007 09:03 pm (UTC)
holy shit!!! that was fucking awesome!!!

Best feedback ever!

I'm happy you liked it, Jessie. Thanks so much!
Charmax: punk spikecharmax on February 23rd, 2007 06:47 pm (UTC)
This is not my sort of thing song wise but I can certainly appreciate the hard work and creativity that's gone into it. Also it does capture that psychotic aspect of Faith's character and as such it's a good match of song, source and effects. It's very clever!
bradcpubradcpu on February 23rd, 2007 09:11 pm (UTC)
I told obsessive24 when I was making the vid that it's like a complete about-face for me in style and music, so I didn't know how people would react. You know how much your opinion means to me (hint: a lot), so I'm glad - relieved, really - you were able to appreciate it despite the fact that it's not really your cuppa. Thanks, you.
wakeup_escapewakeup_escape on February 23rd, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC)
Wow, when I first read the vid description I thought 'uhoh', but it turned out to be a surprisingly very original take on the subject (though by now I really shouldn't expect any less from you heh).
I originally wanted to comment on all the individual things I love about it, but then I realised that'd take far too long...
So in short - all kinds of awesomeness. I'm mostly impressed by the fact that you took something so overdone and took it someplace completely new. One of the best Faith vids I've seen, as they're rarely as clever or insightful as this. The way you build momentum through various techniques is also really well done.

Anyways, I'll be brief with some of my highlights:
-The opening. The audio was a genius idea and I had to rewatch this part again before moving onto the rest of the vid.
-The static throughout. It's really jarring in that awesome way.
-1.08, the slo-mo shot of the letter opener. There's something quite disturbing about the way you incorporated it that totally works for this vid.
-The sequence right after that with the quick cuts of the 'demon essence' drifting around during the action scenes. It's great thematically and lyrically.
-1.29, "Angel." The way everything has built up to come to such a sudden halt really threw me off. It's the dialogue clip that makes it so effective.
Everything else was just awesome and too much to even comment on...
bradcpubradcpu on February 23rd, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC)
when I first read the vid description I thought 'uhoh'

Heh. I can imagine! I was picturing the same thing happening all across my flist. But sometimes an idea won't shut up and you just have to do it so it'll leave you alone, damn the torpedos. You know?

I've been avoiding watching Faith vids at all until this was made - including your two Faith-Wes vids - so that I wouldn't be influenced (or, in the case of yours, intimidated). So it's wonderful to read that there's some originality here. More than that, it's an amazing feeling to read such wonderful compliments coming from one of your favorite vidders. I deeply appreciate it.

Thanks also for pointing out some of your favorite bits. I especially like what you said about the static. Many of the things I was doing visually were meant to sort of keep jolting the viewer, none more so than that, so that's nice to read. By the way, the "Angel" line just after the first chorus was my very first idea for the vid. In many ways, it was kind of built around that. Really glad you enjoyed it!
Jacqui: buffy faith suggestionwily_one24 on February 23rd, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
Jesus fucking Christ, Brad.

You've been promising this for a while and, like always, it was worth every second of the wait. You make the videos I only wish I could make.

I am in awe: breathless, stunned, speechless awe.

Thank you so much for doing this. It might have been a lot of effort, but it really was worth it.
bradcpu: slayerbradcpu on February 23rd, 2007 09:31 pm (UTC)
Slowly making my way through all the songs on the "inspired by whedon" disc I sent you way back when. Very slowly! At this rate I'll be finishing up in a nursing home somewhere. Heh. I'm just glad it didn't disappoint, what with all the promises and waiting.

You know I live to entertain you, Jacqui. So today my life is entirely pointy. :)

Ooh, I just saw you recced it! Wow, thanks, you!
kiki_miserychickiki_miserychic on February 23rd, 2007 09:43 pm (UTC)
Holy flipping crap... I will be back when my mind can function...
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on February 24th, 2007 08:05 am (UTC)
I'm hoping that's a good... Or at least that I'm not liable for causing brain damage or something. Need a disclaimer.
with a one flat foot on a devil's wing - kiki_miserychic on February 26th, 2007 08:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
thinks a donna reed eats dollar bills - kiki_miserychic on February 26th, 2007 08:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
so beautiful it'll make you kill - kiki_miserychic on February 26th, 2007 08:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: so beautiful it'll make you kill - bradcpu on February 27th, 2007 08:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: so beautiful it'll make you kill - kiki_miserychic on February 27th, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: so beautiful it'll make you kill - bradcpu on February 28th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: so beautiful it'll make you kill - kiki_miserychic on February 28th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
Nickyobsessive24 on February 23rd, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
All right, let's see if we can review this sucker.

I'm overwhelmed by the amount of technical detail, all the static shots and quick interspersed mood clips. Can't pick them out one by one so firstly just a blanket statement here saying that the overall visual style is just fantastic. I know what you were trying for and you totally exceeded expectations on that front. "Fits and starts" visuals perfectly synced with the song. Just amazing.

Love the titles, the audio overlaid the horror movie is absolute genius. Love the cutting to black on the little audio distortion there.

Willow vs Gwendolyn. In many ways Gwendolyn was the one who started much of it, so it felt appropriate here to equate the creation of dark!F with the bringing-back of dead!B.

0:25 - opening credit footage! Damn awesome. LOVED the little crosses floating across. Gorgeous time-tiggled pull on F in bed, lovely brightness/contrast keyframing

0:29 needle goes up on "whoosh"

0:31 spinny wheel goes crazy on whooshy music! Audio syncing at its most awesome!

0:34 intercutting. Now I feel we're starting to move into serious contextual territory. scene one - Enemies - she's trying to take away Angel's soul; scene two - Orpheus - she's fighting to get it back. Bookends.

the two overlays of the books is just COOL. (though arguably the second is more pertinent to your themes here.) Nice segue to Buffy & getting demon-ified for slayerdom. Because of course it applies to F also and further enhances the argument that B&F are pretty damn near the same person. Love the screaming at 0:48.

0:52 nice sped-up pull! I'm such a sucker for things like that. :D In this case I think it worked particularly well because you can see her moving fast at the corner of the screen. Looks very stylish. And now we're in the alley, which in my mind can be read two ways - in the larger narrative of the vid she's there the same way Angel was, via Orpheus as a spiritual journey; and on a more literal/immediate level it also leads nicely into the next clip of the Beast breaking out of the pavement.

Beast vs Kakistos, Wes vs Gwendolyn. Man, I love the connections in this vid. More than words can say. Such a sense of the passing of time. Again, bookends.

1:03 - intercutting of F & vampire out of grave. Amazing!

1:06 - Beast!feet vs F!feet! "One fat foot", haha.

1:09 - freeze frame! Then the dragging of the letter opener on the zippyness on the music! Across Wilkins' nameplate! OMGOMG! *dies from too many layers of coolness*

More on connections between fighting Kakistos and fighting the Beast, interlaced with connecting visuals from the horror movie. That's tremendous. That in itself can sustain an entire vid from a concept angle, but of course you being you and this vid being this vid, it's only one of the many facets yet to come. Loved how you pulled the First Watchers in with the thumping at

1:29 - "Angel." Amazing disjointed violence on the audio

bradcpubradcpu on February 24th, 2007 08:34 am (UTC)
How much do you rock? Seeing your replies is like... Christmas. And not the bad kind with ties and socks.

You know, as I was reading through your reply it was like I was reading my own thought process in creating the vid. At first it was "Wow, that's a really insightful thing to pick up on," and it quickly turned into "Get out of my mind!"

Seriously, it is downright disturbing how you can see through vids like that. I feel all naked.

More than anything, I'm just *thrilled* that you liked the visual style. I thought it might be a little much for you... or, hell, for most people. You know how I get about heavy manipulation - much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth. This is one of those cases where mind-numbing fear of affectedness was probably my friend because it made me that much more obsessive and meticulous.

creation of dark!F with the bringing-back of dead!B

Yay! You got it! That was probably the comparison that I was most worried about. Without that, you lose the analogy of Gwen Post "bringing the monster to life," Frankenstein-style, and also how that relates to the B/F connection. So... *whew*

With both book overlays, I was trying to get across the idea of her destiny - whether she wants it or not. The book closing shut was a "fate is sealed" thing.

The whole of the opening verse was about turning her into evil!Faith... encouraging her to set the demon loose and become the monster instead of the victim. I thought Gwen and Wes - her two watchers - played a similar role in that (for their own, selfish reasons). The nameplate was meant to be forboding, a "be careful what you wish for" moment.

Nickyobsessive24 on February 23rd, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
A little bit on her examining Wes/watcher culture. Breaking free of chains but not necessarily in a good way. (Watcher culture and unbridled freedom are really a rock and a hard place, as she will soon find out.) Door opens to reveal Superman (hee!) and we've segued into the next segment. Opening doors with herself on both sides - genius! Ties in with intro brilliantly.

1:44 love the flame shots on the whooshing music and how the fire connects up to the flame thrower back when she's torturing Wesley. Some VERY interesting concepts now being brought up re: First Slayer and her. The connections here are much clearer than it ever was on the show between the First Slayer and Buffy. Just brilliant.

"Raping the geek"! You have a twisted sense of humour, dude. I freaking love it! I like how this verse firstly looks at her darker side in s3, but then also moves onto "sentimental noose" to show the emotional descent in the season. There were points in s3 where you thought she could be saved... and this segment brings it out.

"Operation filth"! I love it! "SS whore"! The song is word soup, as you said, yet you manage to make every sentence make sense in a darkly self-amused way. I'm watching this and I'm thinking all through, O, if only I had a brain.

2:06 - freeze frame again, forwards and backwards. Just a small thing in the grander scheme of things but it's details like this that add to the amazing visual feel

2:08 - Man, she's ridden a lot of people over the years. Love the interspersed cuts of the First Slayer also crouching down like that. Beautiful disjointed cutting. LOVED the quick time toggle on 2:12. This vid doesn't just feel the music, it is the music. *flails*

2:25 the parallel between Angel saving her and her going back into the grave is interesting. Because of course in context her crawling out of the grave wasn't a good thing - it marked the start of her darkest period. So it makes sense that when he saves her, it's actually connected by that backwards motion into the grave. But because that kind of backwards/descending movement has traditionally such bad connotations, you also know that A saving her isn't the end of the matter. It's only halfway through her story. There's miles to go before she sleeps. Amazing reverse-water shots on the audio, ending with the sudden cutting out of audio.

"The dead walk", the next segment. Out of the hospital, out of the jail cell, (Almost a side note at this stage! "Same thing you are" always narrated by Buffy. Brilliant!) And again the parallels of B coming out of her grave and finding a confusing new world.

2:48 love the pull on the distorted note there, echoed at 2:53.
bradcpubradcpu on February 24th, 2007 09:01 am (UTC)
Again with the lucid comments! It's eerie, I tells ya!

Superman was one of the faces of the "demon" inside her (the others being the first slayer and grave!Faith). In this case, Superman was arriving to "rescue" her from fear and pain... and dish out a little for everyone else. Now she's the horror movie monster on the other side of the door instead of the cowering scream queen. The real Faith gives up control and "sinks into" the demon.

So glad you liked the lyric ties! This verse was probably my favorite to edit because, let's face it, bad Faith is fun. The scream at the door is to show that, inside, she's still the frightened girl from Faith Hope & Trick (hinted at in a more subtle way earlier in the "sentimental noose" part).

Man, she's ridden a lot of people over the years

*snort* And there were a several more that I pulled but just couldn't fit in.

I don't know if you've ever watched that whole crawling-out-of-the-grave scene in reverse, but let me tell you it is frea-ky. Lots of The Ring-like hair whipping and sliding along the ground. I didn't want to go overboard with what I used for the vid, though.

The "dead walk" is meant to show the them staggering through the sort of waking nightmare of their lives, burying their emotions, putting on false faces, and trying to come to terms with the darkness inside themselves.

At one point I had a line of dialogue here: Buffy telling Faith "That's not your real face and I know it." I think the line makes the point of the segment a lot more clear, but it was just too jarring from a presentation standpoint.
Nickyobsessive24 on February 23rd, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
"She awakens from her death-like sleep." Too many things to take in all at once! *flails madly* This part is incredibly layered and here's where words fail me because I can't pick them all out. There's Buffy, child!Buffy and her connections with the cousin who gets killed by Der Kindestad (forgive the spelling), the Orpheus-coma, the First Slayer, the cleansing shower, memories of Wilkins, that AMAZING shot of bringing-back-sun at 3:01, THEN to bring them all together, she wakes up and there's ten thousand split-second frames of Wilkins and Mr Trick and Buffy and First Slayer and Superman! HEE! Since I can't express the connections, you'll just have to put your trust in me that I got it. ;)

3:10 flame marks, again, the beginning of a new era. Caleb vs hallucinating Jack at the bus-stop is a tremendous parallel. Misogyny, trying to take advantage of little girls. Rather empowering at this stage and suddenly you/Faith start finding positive sides to this Slayer business. You start to understand what being a Slayer is about - and it's not about what the-men-who-put-the-monster-in-you told you to do; it's what you know you want to do.

"Goldfoot's machine" and one split-second frame of evil!lawyer.

And now we get to what we were talking briefly about earlier. About knowing that you have blood on your hands, but it's self-affirming and life-affirming to be able to accept this beastly part of you. And the scythe ties in beautifully to that because slayer-dom doesn't exactly have clean roots, either.

3:37 wine to bloody rain OMG! Love the red on the rain, BTW.

The seal opens, the Ubervamps come out to play, there's shots of Wes and Angel and Buffy with the mud on her face and Allan-deputy-mayor (brilliant way to bring him in) and the split-second shots of her other victims. All the people she killed, all the people she hurt, and the rain/shower is coming down and the blood is being washed off, and it feels like she's home here in the self-affirming violence.

Buffy/herself beats sense into her(self), the church window blows open vs she breaks the jail window, Caleb grabs hold of her hand and she thinks back to the screaming girl on the bed and the screaming girl in the shower, and finally the journey is complete. In the vid's narrative context I feel sorry for Caleb and everything that he represents - he doesn't have any idea what's coming right after the vid ends. But the audience knows.

No concluding comments - you've heard it all. Sorry for giant ramble.
bradcpubradcpu on February 24th, 2007 09:25 am (UTC)
Remember weeks and weeks ago when I mentioned that I had discovered a parallel in BtVS S2 that I was going to build around? It was the child!Buffy-child!Faith concept. It's supposed to tie into idea of the dancing Faith not being her "real face." Inside she's a frightened girl cowering beneath the demon power.

I absolutely love how well you read the final verse. Everything I was trying to say sounds like it came through for you.

And the scythe ties in beautifully to that because slayer-dom doesn't exactly have clean roots, either.

Exactly. Plus I couldn't think of anything that Faith would find more "beautiful" (and tempting) than Buffy holding out a giant axe for her.

The choice is hers now, but the demon is still there, and everyone on both sides of the AtS S4/BtVS S7 conflicts (Wes-Buffy and Angel-The First, not to mention the demon itself) want her to "sink into it" again. That's the little twinge of tragedy that I wanted - everyone (but her) loves when she's knee-deep in blood, and she'll never really escape that. She just has to become part of it.

Caleb really is a pitiable character, huh? Just as much as the bus-stop pimp, I suppose, but with a greater sense of self-importance.

I just can't tell you how much I appreciate the detailed thoughts. It's fascinating seeing it through your eyes - and, more often than not - a lot like seeing it through my own eyes.

Now get out of my mind!
mranderson71mranderson71 on February 24th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC)
Well I told you I was my secret N.Y.R. was I was going to watch more BtVS/AtS vids....so what better way to kick that off than watch yours!

Rob Zombie remixes are always better than the originals & Im so glad you used the remix for this one...its such an organic mix and your cuts & shot selection totally served the kick ass beats in this video.

My favourite bits were the knife along the table to the rising guitar & the single spoken line of "Angel" in the silence between the beats. Also the dancig sequence was totally cool.

You don't need to be a fan of the shows to enjoy this vid, and its one that'll be staying on my HDD.
bradcpu: Serenitybradcpu on February 24th, 2007 09:39 am (UTC)
Hey, man, glad to see you keeping the resolution!

I agree, most of the time Zombie remixes are better. This one and "How To Make A Monster" immediately come to mind. I think "Dragula" is the only original that I prefer over the remix.

"Organic" is a great way of describing this mix. Love that word. One thing about it - it's got so much going on musically that you can throw in any kind of motion and it's probably going to hit some kind of music cue.

I'm really flattered that you liked this enough to hang onto it. I'm just happy I didn't make you renounce your resolution. :)
(no subject) - mranderson71 on February 25th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ficbyzee on February 24th, 2007 04:29 am (UTC)
Holy shit that was awesome. Just, wow. FAITH.
bradcpubradcpu on February 24th, 2007 09:40 am (UTC)
Just, wow. FAITH.

Now that's a compliment! I'm really glad you enjoyed it.